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The ‘Horrible’ Thing Author Stephen King Made His Daughter Do When She Was a Child

"Entertaining their parents, for the King children, was part job, part enrichment"

Novelist Stephen King listens to a question from a creative writing student at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell in Lowell, Mass., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Credit: AP

Iconic horror novelist Stephen King would likely be the first person to acknowledge that—like most successful artists—he tends toward the, shall we say, atypical at times.

How else could he have come up with scary characters for "Carrie," "The Shining," and "Pet Sematary"?

Horror Novelist Stephen King (Credit: AP)

But the following revelation is a real-life shocker.

Turns out that in the 1980s, King liked to pass his free time filling his restless brain with books on tape. But when the bestselling novelist couldn't find ones he wanted, King had his children fill his requests.

They read them into a tape recorder.

And we're not talking short stories or easy reads.

According to a New York Times magazine story set to run Aug. 4, King had his brood pore through heavy-duty tomes such as "The Carpetbaggers" and "Raven"—a disturbing journalistic account of the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide.

“It was horrible,” recalls his oldest child, Naomi, who read "Raven" at the tender age of 12.

But which selection likely tops them all?

Naomi apparently recorded word-for-word "Anna Karenina"—the 900-page tragic masterpiece by Russian writer Leo Tostoy, published in 1878.

"Entertaining their parents, for the King children, was part job, part enrichment," the Times explains. "At bedtime, they were the ones expected to tell their parents stories, instead of the other way around. Whatever their methods or intentions, Stephen and [his wife] Tabitha’s shared vocation, and their approach to child rearing, has yielded a significant number of successful fiction writers...Joe and Owen, are novelists."

And what does Naomi, 43, do now?

She's a Unitarian Universalist minister.

(H/T: Vulture)

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